Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-06 17:59:31

Tim Burton Inspired Set!

Attached I have a few pictures of my now completed "boy's bedroom" set, well I say now completed but i'll probably end up changing something by the time i'm ready to animate. Who knows. I just wanted to post because i'm excited things turned out pretty much the way I pictured it (which in my mind I was going for a "german expressionism" type of theme. The whole film will be in black/white so I snapped the pictures that way too. Well, here they are...any comments welcome! The pictures may be a bit skewed because I had to make them smaller in paint. Not the best quality either, but at least you get an idea of the look. Enjoy...:9

Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-06 18:01:49

Alright I see these pictures are way big...can anyone help with croping? I'm not too computer savvy myself. Thanks in advance, -Mike

Posted by Zombie Sock, on 2007-12-03 08:29:17

that is really good, very burtonesque... nice one =]

Posted by Bolex_animator, on 2006-12-06 18:26:37

Nice! I really like the look, and yes - the Burton inspiration is marked, but it works, so what the heck! I really like the bed-frame. The entire set has a sort of Burton's Vincent/Cabinet of Dr. Caligari feel to it, which is very cool :D. Are you shooting this film in black and white? I think black and white, especially with Burton-esque or 'expressionist' ideas, is the best way to go. The stark contrast is very effective. But then again, that's a personal preferance. Good luck. -Andrew Liebau-

Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-06 19:35:21

Thanks's taken about two weeks now to complete from concept drawings to actual gathering materials and building. Since it's a bedroom set I had no problem finding materials, the only problem I saw was trying to make it stylized while still keeping it look somewhat realistic. I hope I achieved this. First set in a long time so it's a fresh start for some good things to come. I'm obsessed with Mr. Tim Burton, so it would be almost impossible to do any stop mo work without incorporating his style in with what I have in mind at the time. At least this project is heavily polluted with it. This is my first project in almost a 4 year break from it. I played around with armature building a little during that time but just wasn't motivated until just recently for some reason. I go through periods of pure excitement for creating things and then a dry spell...I suppose that's life. Anyway, if you're interested I can post more pics of the actual character and "critters" i'll be using hopefully by this weekend they should all be painted and ready to go. Thanks for the nice comments, -Mike

Posted by Bolex_animator, on 2006-12-06 20:43:40

I know what you mean. My whole life is just a series of waves of these abhorrent 'dry spells' and then bouts of creativity and tangible fabrication of these ideas. Yet, I have found that coming out of these 'spells' is a very positive thing for me personally, and my artistic output because my work is always fresh afterwards. A more personal style develops. After a few weeks or a couple months of just reading good books, watching alot of movies, listening to music and such I come out with new inspiration which I can apply to that which I left off on. I know I'd really like to see more shots of the characters and/or sets. So, whenever time allows, it'd be neat if you set up a thread dedicated to this project. -Andrew Liebau-

Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-06 21:12:47

I think I almost need the "dry spells" in my life to help boost the "creativity spells";-) . I'd rather be creative and productive 24 hours a day and seven days a week...but i'll leave those hours to people with more motivation in their lives;-) . For now i'm happy with my progress in this hobby and i'm trying to stay motivated by doing the best work that I possibily can. Wow I sound like I just got slapped by a motivational speaker :P . The point i'm trying to make (uh yes, there is a point amongst all this chatter, heh..) is that personally I think it's ok to take a break from this type of work every once in a while. Catch my breath, and get busy again. This is especially true for animators that do everything themselves with absolutely no one else's physical help. Somehow...dispite all the painstaking tasks, it still puts me to sleep happy at night. That's the important thing now isn't it?! (I'll post pics or even start a new thread for the boy, beetles, snakes, and scorpion pieces involved this weekend!) Take good care, -Mike

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-12-07 22:01:36

I liked the bed frame, but other parts of the set looked too straight next to it. I'd like to see the wall angles a bit odd, the bookcase a bit skewed, take it all to the same place as the bedhead. Well, that's my take on it. The drawings on the wall are great, within them they have all the right feel, but their edges don't need to be perfectly parallel. Image size - get Photoshop or Photoshop elements. Click on Image, go down to Image Size, keep the box ticked to maintain the proportions, and change the width to around 600 to 800 pixels. The height should change with it to keep the shape the same. (You can select whether dimensions are in pixels or inches/centimeters or whatever - changing the print size (inches/cm) won't help, it will be just as many pixels but higher resolution so look just as big onscreen.) If you use a different image editing program, check the pixel size on that.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-07 22:31:38

Absolutely, I used that "bookcase" because I had it from a "laboratory" set about 4 years ago and thought it would work. But you're right, I really should bring all the pieces of furniture to the same place (in this case a stylized german expressionist feel.) As for the walls...when it actually comes down to animating i'm hoping I can do some lighting tricks so that I can get some dramatic shadows on the walls. If I fail at this I might end up doing what I planed in the first place , which was to just paint the walls with black and white triangles and such. Similar to that of Dr. Caligari's office walls in "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". The reason I'm going for this look is because although the script is still in the's basically about dreams/nightmares. I think the look i'm after would be reminiscent to a nightmare. I'll see if I can't get photoshop on my computer. Thanks and have a good weekend! -Mike

Posted by animator_girl, on 2006-12-12 15:09:28

I really like the drawings on the walls. Especially the whole "out of proportion" thing with the bed frame. True, you should probably make everything else a bit more askew, but otherwise pretty freaking awesome. What's the character going to look like?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2006-12-13 05:09:11

Hey! Thanks, that set is finally completed! The thing about the bed frame was that I wanted to make it kind of big looking so that the character looked smaller. Of course I don't want to make the puppet too small so I designed the set accordingly. The character will basically look like a boy, lol. Not sure how to explain him. He'll be skinny...i'll just post a pic once he's completed. Oh and I forgot if I posted an updated pic of the set with new "skewed" furniture or not, but here it is: -Mike

Posted by clayshizzle, on 2007-01-03 22:47:54

Hey I know this is old but what is the bed made out of, and where did you buy / make the little jars?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-01-04 14:23:18

The bed frame is actually fabricated from lead-free solder. I had some lying around and it was the perfect thickness I was looking for.....very easy to bend too. The miniature jars....good question! I'm don't really remember exactly where I picked those up, I know it had to be a good 5 or 6 years ago now because I remember using them in a "laboratory set" I made "back in the day". I tend to recycle my props as i'm sure most of us do when it permits. :-) Oh and I remember I poured shampoo (of all things) inside the jars to get different colored fluids for "chemicals" or whatever. If I were to do it now I would just add colored water or juice....something a little less messy/gooey. Thanks for your interest, i'll keep you posted as things progress. Right now i'm pretty much done with sets and working on character fabrication mostly. "I'm inventing mostly." - Wallace :7 -Mike

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-03 13:53:19

A lot of changes went into my sets since then, I decided upon having two seperate sets (one which is the actual room of the boy and the other being the altered room that exists in his dream/nightmare.) I'm almost to the point of shooting that nightmare scene after I finish up with a shot of the boy walking to his door. These aren't shots from my animation, just snapped quick pictures to show you what it looks like now. -Mike L.

Posted by I_make_cartoons, on 2007-12-03 14:55:51

the wonky table is reminiscent of "not without my handbag" if you've ever seen that short. I take it you will be using all sorts of crazy lighting angles in the nightmare? -marc more hassle than it's worth? pfft. screw that!

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-03 19:13:42

Wow!! I haven't ever heard of that short...very cool stuff though. Thanks a lot! I actually havent decided exactly what I want to use for the background, but something crazy for sure. Mike L.

Posted by castlegardener, on 2007-12-03 20:39:03

What kind of tiedowns, if any, are you using on that beautiful floor?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-03 23:55:50

Not the best method out there, but I just use pins attached to the puppet's feet to stick into the foamcore floor. It works all right I just have to make sure to hide the pins out of each shot which is easy because who needs to see the feet anyway? -Mike L.

Posted by patman, on 2007-12-05 20:52:39

[div class="dcquote"][strong]Quote[/strong] Not the best method out there, but I just use pins attached to the puppet's feet to stick into the foamcore floor. It works all right I just have to make sure to hide the pins out of each shot which is easy because who needs to see the feet anyway?-Mike L. [/div] But then how do you keep your floors not having visble marks? Do you clamp the stage to your desk to keep it from sliding while animating?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-05 23:34:48

There will be tiny pin holes wherever I stick the puppet's feet in, but they are pin holes so you can't really pick it up while watching the actual animation. Clamping the set would be a good idea but I haven't had to do that yet. I just shoot a scene all in one sitting and try my best not to bump the set or tripod. So far so good. Sticky-tac could be applied to the bottom of the set to help it from moving as well. Even so, with framegrabbers now-a-days it's easy to align everything back up if something does move and it's hardly noticeable afterward if you're lucky. I would say just take it slow either way, don't rush things because that's when accidents happen. -Mike L.

Posted by Screech82, on 2007-12-19 10:11:06

Wow I missed this thread, those sets look very very nice. I like the character model too, this is one animation i'm looking forward to seeing! I think you have the right idea about having different sets for the real/dream world. In my film, 'Bad dream', I was thinking about how I could make the atmosphere change completely once the nightmare starts and having two different sets may be the way to go. One thing I will say about the set, how the heck are you going to manage with those bits and bobs all over the floor in the 'real' set. You are going to have to be really really careful not to nudge any of those cos it will show up on screen huh? Nice work! Plus extra points for that teenage mutant ninja turtles poster!

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-19 17:09:25

Thanks a lot. That's one of my favorite parts of stop-motion - making sets. I'm still a newbie but practice makes perfect so hopefully my next one will be better. Having as many different sets as possible (within reason) is always a good idea because it adds more interest to the video. My first idea was to just use the same bedroom but switch up the furniture for different scenes. But after a bit of discussion here, others convinced me it would be best to do a completely different set to help give each their own unique environment. There isn't a whole lot of animation in this project i'm working on now - mainly because i'm a newbie and still suck :P. But in the bedroom for example, the only animation is the boy sleeping in his bed, he wakes up and gets out of bed, then he walks over to the door. I animated that already and everything went alright. Actually, the second day I was animating that scene...I was at the point where the boy walks to the door and noticed my 3 year old nephew had taken all the tiny toys from the set and was playing with them!! :o Immediately I panicked because I knew I was in the middle of the shoot. But soon I realized that there really were no toys in the shot I needed to make to get the boy to the door (whew!). But yeah, normally something like that would be best to glue down because there are always going to be mistakes. I will be putting my animation up on vimeo once it's finished. So I don't know how that works yet, but I think I need your email or something to add you because I only want friends and family to watch it. No youtube! :P -Mike L.

Posted by Screech82, on 2007-12-19 17:30:47

What's wrong with youtube! haha anyway why not put it up on stopmoshorts? My email is

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-19 17:38:50

Alright, thanks. It's just that once you put something on the internet, it's there forever. I love youtube, but not sure i'd want my own videos on there because idk i'm weird like that. I might try to get it on stopmoshorts though, not sure yet. One of my main reasons why i'm being so cautious or paranoid is because there is a small amount of material in my music video that I don't have permission to use. I tried contacting radiohead's correspondence, but they never returned my email so I just used the material anyway. I still made my own footage, but it's owned by someone else. I don't think it's a huge problem, but you never know these days. I will add you on vimeo as soon as the video is up. -Mike L.

Posted by castlegardener, on 2007-12-19 18:40:19

I have always found that glueing down the toys is a little bit easier than glueing down the nephew, although I am sure some of the newer epoxies would probably work on him.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-19 18:57:43

That's true - but I preferre to just lock him out of the room. Before hand I tried explaining to him what I was doing; which served useful because he lost interest right away once he found out he needed patience to follow. I think that was enough to "scare" him away so I could get some animation done. Mike L.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-12-19 22:40:20

Youneek - If you put your video up at Stopmoshorts or anywhere else, it's not just up on that site. The SMS would be glad to remove it later if you asked, but it's possible it will be copied and posted on other sites without anyone asking you. It happened to me. So post only what you are ready to put out there. I like the explaining as a means of repelling nephews! Doesn't work with cats tho...

Posted by Strider, on 2007-12-19 23:30:23

Yes, cats definitely need to be glued down! And gluing the hairy parts doesn't work.... hair pulls out! Best to use an epoxy (hotglue might hurt the cats) on a pre-shaved area. Be sure to leave them glued down close to their food, water and litterbox, and leave them some toys or they'll still find a way to destroy your set. (And I don't even have any cats!) If you really want to contro who sees your film you could always upload it to a place like and send out emails with the link to the in crowd. That way it's not posted on a public site for lurkers to stumble across.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-20 00:30:26

I've never liked cats offense to any cat lovers... Ok, Nick and Mike...what are your emails? After it's finished (hoping before the new year) I will see how big of a file it is and what i'll use to send it (vimeo, sendspace, etc.) I only want people I trust seeing my crappy animation :P . -Mike L.

Posted by castlegardener, on 2007-12-20 00:32:48

Put me on that list too, (as soon as you trust me that is) email address is in my signature.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-12-20 00:39:15

[i][b][font size=+1]Doooohhhh!!![/font][/b][/i] I'd be real careful posting your email right on a message board like that! You might get lucky for a while, but once the spambots zero in on it, there's no escape (short of trashing that account and starting up a new one)!!! :o :o :o You could take out the @ and instead type out _AT_. If people want to email you, they can always use the email icon under your username.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-20 00:45:48

done and done :D . I need a "production logo/name" because it's the cool thing to do when you make your first film. I had lots of stupid ideas, but the two that stuck with me so far are "serial productions" and have it written in alpha bits in a bowl with white clay as milk...ORRR..."mediocre productions" because some friends used to call me that in high school (for some odd reason) and I think it would fit somewhat with my mediocre (or crappy) animation style. What do you guys think? Production label? No...? I kind of need a little filler at the end anyway... EDIT: Strider - Yeesh!! And I thought III was paranoid!? The only spam I ever get is from myspace and if I have an account at some other site that i've ordered things from. And half isn't even spam, it's just advertising and such. -Mike L.

Posted by Strider, on 2007-12-20 01:04:40

It's not paranoia..... I had to remove all contact info from my Darkstrider site because the Spambots discovered it and I was getting literally hundreds of emails a day. Even now that the contact info is down, I still get them - my Junk mail fills up every day with hundreds and hundreds of spam emails. I only hope nothing important is getting in there by mistake.... I'd never be able to find it!

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-20 01:11:59

I see, well, when you're as cool as you are EVERYONE wants a piece of the pie :P . I know what you mean though. I've been considering deleting my myspace page because I get at spam everyday from supposed females that want to get to know me! Sure their pages are wonderful with bouncing bazookas galore, but I have a eerie feeling about adding them as my friends. The internet is just insane now-a-days (hackers, spammers, etc etc etc.) The most we can do probably goes hand in hand with that ole saying "less is more". And also that it's cool to be cautious online. -Mike L.

Posted by Nick H, on 2007-12-20 02:16:25

My employer is spending heaps on spam filtering to block the millions of daily offers for v!agra, Nigerian money laundering, online gambling, fake stocks, and Russian mailorder brides that regularly brought our email system to a halt. As a national tv network, maybe it gets targetted. As an individual, I only ever got hundreds, and now only 2 or 3 sneak through each week. Names and logos - every time I have an idea, I do a google to see if its been used. Like Anonymous Bosch - nope, it's a band in california. Animation Alley - Nope, a cartoon memorabilia shop in New York. Every damn half-clever idea has been used. Mediocre Productions? Found this:

Posted by Strider, on 2007-12-20 02:54:25

I think it's alright to use a name as long as whoever else has it isn't in the same field. Example, there's a movie named Rush, and of course a Canadian [i]power trio [b]rock band[/b][/i] called Rush, and I doubt they get confused much. Hey, Peter Jackson must not have checked to see if King Kong was already being used! ;) But then, I suspect if you look really hard, he might have borrowed a little from the story too (not much, just a little). There are also two completley unrelated movies named Crash that have nothing whatsoever to do with each other aside from that coincidence. So, as long as the other party isn't a stopmo animator, I'd say you're good to go. As long as you don't want to call yourself [i][b]*D1sney*[/b][/i] or something! Of course, the problem there is, if somebody remembers seeing your film and decides to seek out further knowledge on you, let's say they google your studio name and the first 30 pages are for [i][b]the other guy!!![/b][/i] x(

Posted by Screech82, on 2007-12-20 06:52:28

dammit I did think twice before posting my email address on the board as I was thinking about programs that spammers can use that trawl through web text to get email addresses but I already get hundreds and hundreds of spam so i'm not too bothered.

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-20 14:28:51

If anyone is interested in either: - Radiohead - "Everything in its Right Place" download it or find it here for a sample listen: - Tim Burton or German Expressinism (there is a little of that thrown in, not the whole thing though it is in black/white.) - Dream within a nightmare type stories. - Stop-Motion Animated music videos. Just email at and I will probably send you an email with the link as soon as everything is final and posted on the net. By the way I don't know mind posting my email addy here because I have two hotmail accounts , so if this one gets attacked by spambots I can always close this one and convert to my other as a main email address. I would just put it on youtube, but I really don't want to (for reasons Nick described above.) I have been around here for a good year and a half now and somewhat know/trust a good amount of people here. I can't say that about youtube though. So if you happen to stumble upon this thread and are interested in the above mentioned, email me and you might get lucky! This isn't supposed to be any form of advertising (that's the last thing I want right now.) I just want fellow stop-mo buds to know i'm 98% done with a stop motion music video that I hope they can enjoy on some level. -Mike L.

Posted by Screech82, on 2007-12-20 16:28:33

98%! I like the sound of that. I've always liked radiohead and i'm one of the many loyal (maybe stupid) fans who paid a bit for the download of 'in rainbows'. The fact that I chose to pay just 1.49 is neither here or there, atleast I PAID, I heard on the radio that almost every single person who downloaded it didn't pay a thing. Btw how long is this film?

Posted by youneekusername, on 2007-12-20 18:45:01

Radiohead and Screeching Weasel...only bands you need really. I love the new album, might even do another music video to one of the songs in the future. I paid like $3.00 (U.S. of A) because that is the cheapest I think i'd pay for a C.D. The film is 4 minutes and 16 seconds, but the last minute is just credits and production logo and basically nothingness because the song dies down considerably. That's the part i'm working on now actually, that last 2% is just adding in a production logo thinger and a page that says it was made in 2007. Then it just has to be compressed and so forth. -Mike L.

Posted by Screech82, on 2007-12-20 19:13:15

Good job my friend!